1 in 3 People Will SleepWalk at Some Time

A good night’s rest is a key piece of the healthy life jigsaw. However, new research reveals that sleepwalking and other nighttime disturbances are far more extensive than was previously thought. Sleep experts have discovered 1 in every 25 of us are liable to night time meandering, with 29.2% of those surveyed reporting a variation on basic sleepwalking since their early years.

This new study further revealed a link between disturbed sleep hours and particular psychiatric disorders, most notably depression and anxiety. The scientists claim that their work “underscores the fact that sleepwalking is much more prevalent in adults than previously appreciated.”

The research head is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine in America, and he says:

“Apart from a study we did 10 years ago in the European general population, where we reported a prevalence of two per cent of sleepwalking, there are nearly no data regarding the prevalence of nocturnal wanderings in the adult general population.”

In another related study out of Canada, researchers are reporting increased numbers of people suffering from ‘sexsomnia’. It is a ‘sex while sleeping’ condition that does not contribute to a good nights rest and leads to a general debilitation. Apparently almost 1 in 12 of us may take part in some level of sexual activity while sleeping. Mostly, men, it has to be said, since they make up 75% of the sexomniac population. The reported nocturnal stirrings ranged from lonely masturbation all the way up to full sexual coupling.

This study was conducted by the Sleep Research Laboratory at the University Health Network in Toronto, and it too found the condition to be more prevalent than previously believed.

Researchers questioned 832 people who had reported suffering with various sorts of sleep disorder. The 428 males and 404 females, who were referred patients to the clinic, also filled out questionnaires on their symptoms, energy levels, emotional state and recalled behavior during sleep. Over 10% of the men owned up to engaging in ‘sleep sex’ while only 4% of women did likewise.

The researchers were surprised at these figures and think they may be understated since many people reported vague or no recollections of their nighttime interludes. This is the first study to look specifically at this condition. While the number, 8%, with sexsomnia, seems unexpectedly high, it should be remembered that the study population were referred to a sleep clinic and therefore, probably not typical of the general population.

Sexsomnia is a subset of parasomnia, or involuntary actions that happen during sleep and, which lead to tiredness during waking hours. There is no legal problem with sleep intercourse as long as it is consensual. It has even been known to occur during episodes of sleepwalking. It is often linked with lowered energy levels and depressive moods.

Other types of parasomnia are, sleeping with eyes wide open, tooth grinding, doing the household chores while sleeping, talking of course, and even eating.

Claire Al-Aufi

Claire Al-Aufi is a contributing author for Hive Health Media who provides updates on health and fitness news.

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